I used to think that the worst thing that could happen to me while playing "Pokemon Go" was that I'd run into a rare Dratini at the park, only to have it escape my Pokeball and disappear when I went to go catch it. But this morning I woke up to find that the actual worst thing had happened: a new "Pokemon Go" update had just been released, and as a result it seemed like I had to restart the entire game, reverting back to Level One with an empty Pokedex and a heavy heart. Why did "Pokemon Go" reset my account? It even looked like I would have to come up with a brand new Pokemon trainer identity — my avatar and username appeared to be gone, and there was Professor Willow, walking me through what a Pokeball was used for. There was only one word to describe my mental state: distraught.
I wasn't the only person who experienced a brief moment of panic, though. If I'm being honest, I'm more of a fair weather player — I'll see what Pokemon are lurking around my office, but won't expend much real effort to hatch an egg by, you know, actually walking anywhere or anything. I think that's why I was able to sidestep the feelings of extreme desperation experienced by more seasoned players who updated their app only to find that by doing so, it appeared as though they had to start all the way back at the beginning. It was a bleak time to be on Twitter:
That rage? It's real. Fortunately, Niantic Inc. was quick to address the issue on its "Pokemon Go" Facebook page, and there's a surprisingly easy way to fix the problem. On July 31, it posted that some users were experiencing an "account login" issue following the new update, but to "be assured that all your gameplay progress has NOT been lost." It redirected those affected by the update to this "Pokemon Go" support page, which offered a little more insight.
As it turns out, all hope is not lost. I tried the fix Niantic Inc. suggested, and it worked for me no problem. Here's what you have to do: Log out of the "Pokemon Go" app altogether. I had to do this twice before it officially logged me out. You can also try deleting the app, and then redownloading it. When you go to sign back in, choose to log in through Google:
It took me to a separate Safari page asking me to choose which gmail account I wanted to sign in with (I had two). I gotta be honest — figuring out which one I had originally used was a little bit of a crap shoot, because I never remember this kind of stuff — but once I selected the right email account, I was able to sign back into the app no problem. Important note: Make sure you are choosing the right email address. At first, I selected the wrong one, and it took me right back to the beginning to create a new game. But once I figured out what email address my original account was set up under, it was all smooth sailing. I was able to sign back in without a hitch and resume playing where I left off.
According to Hypable, it might also help to reset your Google password information from Safari. To do this, head to Settings > Safari> General>Passwords. Google.com (accounts.google.com) will appear as one of the options; tap it, and delete it. Apparently, all you have to do next is re-download the "Pokemon Go" app, and sign in through Google as before, and everything should be business as usual — your Pokemon are all safely where you left them.
So stop panicking, my fellow trainers. Your slowly growing brood of existing Pokemon still await you — just take a deep breath, reopen the app, and see what other surprises the new update has in store for you.
Images: Pokemon Go